New Group Interested in Iowa Speedway
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on November 26, 2013 | 10:31 A.M. EST
Iowa Speedway, which will host two Nationwide, one Camping World Truck and one IndyCar race in 2014, could soon have new owners. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Newton, Iowa, City Council unanimously approved transferring deals to the pending owners of Iowa Speedway on Tuesday.
U.S. Motorsport Corporation had requested that city officials transfer lease agreements to a new group called Iowa Speedway L.L.C. Members of that ownership have not been identified.
Newton Mayor Michael Hansen reassured those during the meeting that he's comfortable with the new group.
"I just want to make this statement that the city staff, the mayor the council are fully aware of who the new ownership entity is,'' Hansen said before the council voted 5-0 to approve the transfers. "We are extremely pleased that this entity is interested in the Iowa Speedway and are looking forward to a fantastic, long and prosperous relationship with those folks. Out of respect for the new ownership entity and at their request, we will not reveal who they are.''
A spokesperson for International Speedway Corp. stated that the company is not involved in the proposed purchase of Iowa Speedway. A spokesperson for Speedway Motorsports Inc. had no comment.
The Newton Daily News reported that City Administrator Bob Knabel stated in a memo to city council members that the city staff recommended approving the resolution with the new ownership group.
WHO-TV reported that a news conference is scheduled for 1 p.m., Dec. 12, in the Iowa Statehouse rotunda where the new owners are expected to be represented there. An offficial with the Iowa Statehouse confirmed to Motor Racing Network that the event was on the schedule but did not know any other details. An official with Iowa Speedway told Motor Racing Network that the WHO-TV report was inaccurate.
The ownership change comes as Iowa Speedway has faced some challenges this year.
The track announced in September that CEO Doug Fritz had resigned and that Stan Clement, track president, would take over those duties. Track officials also confirmed to the Des Moines Register in September that a refinancing deal was in the works. In May, the Iowa Legislature pulled an $8 million appropriation to upgrade the track's facilities in an attempt to get a NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Iowa Speedway, a 7/8-mile racetrack designed by NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, hosted two Nationwide and two Camping World Truck Series races, along with an IndyCar race, this season.
The track’s 2014 schedule features two Nationwide races, one Truck race and one IndyCar race.